The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is meant to house and honor the greatest players in the history of baseball. They are the players who had stellar careers, broke records, and did what other players dreamt of doing.
Every year, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) is presented a list of eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame. According to the Baseball Hall of Fame, for a player to be eligible, here is a list of criteria a player must meet:
1. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
2. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 1.
3. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
4. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
5. Any player on Baseball’s ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.
Once named a candidate, each player has 15 years of eligibly on the BBWAA ballot. A player must accumulate a minimum of 5 percent of the vote. If a player does not get at least 5 percent of the vote in any given year of eligibility, they are removed from further consideration by the BBWAA.
To gain entrance to the Hall of Fame, a candidate must get at least 75 percent of the vote and rounding up is not allowed. A player with less than 75 percent but more than 5 percent will be carried over to the next year, so long as said player has not exceeded the 15 year limit.
This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was sent out to BBWAA members at the beginning of December. Voters are allowed to select up to 10 players on any one ballot. Results will be announced on Jan. 9, 2013 and inductions will take place on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
This year, there are 37 players on the ballot. Of those 37 players, 13 are carryovers. Of those 13, only one is in his final year of eligibility, Dale Murphy. The other 12 carryovers are Jack Morris (14th year), Don Mattingly (13th year), Alan Trammell (12th year), Lee Smith (11th year), Mark McGwire (7th year), Tim Raines (6th year), Edgar Martinez (4th year), Fred McGriff (4th year), Larry Walker (3rd year), Jeff Bagwell (3rd year), Rafael Palmeiro (3rd year), and Bernie Williams (2nd year).
All 13 of those players have received at least 5 percent during their time on the ballot, but have not yet gained over 75 percent.
The rest of ballot consists of 24 players who are in their first year of eligibility. Those 24 players include: Sandy Alomar, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Roger Clemens, Jeff Conine, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko, Kenny Lofton, Jose Mesa, Mike Piazza, Reggie Sanders, Curt Schilling, Aaron Sele, Sammy Sosa, Mike Stanton, Todd Walker, David Wells, Rondell White, and Woody Williams.
I can see one or two players from this group and possibly three or four total players gaining induction this year. That is just how the Hall of Fame voting goes. With the exception of the initial class, there have never been more than five players inducted in at one time by the BBWAA. Myself, I see enough names of players who deserve the honor that I would fill out a ballot with the maximum of 10 names and have a couple of extra’s left over.
Over the next two days, I will break down the 10 players that I would vote for (if I had a vote). I will give my reasoning while also proving some history of the players I am for.